As you know by now, the Sixers used the third pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday night to pick Joel Embiid, the injured freshman big man from Kansas. The 10th pick was eventually converted to Dario Saric, a good European player who is at least a year away from coming to this country to play.
Here’s what they’re saying about the Sixers this morning:
This is a big risk considering the multiple stress fractures that Embiid has suffered this year (both in his back and currently his foot), but considering the Sixers took Nerlens Noel with a lottery pick last year despite recovering from an ACL injury, they’re clearly capable of being quite patient with the recovery process. Embiid was touted as the likely top pick in the draft before the latest foot injury.
The tank was so much fun the first time! Why not do it again!?
The 76ers effectively punted the 2014-15 season at the NBA draft Thursday night, using the third overall pick to select injured 7-foot Kansas center Joel Embiid, who could miss the entire season while recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, then drafting Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton with the 10th pick before flipping him to Orlando for the rights to 6-10 Croatian forward Dario Saric, who was selected 12th and will likely spend the next two seasons playing overseas. He recently signed with a team in Turkey.
So Sixers fans, who endured a rough 2013-14 season after general manager Sam Hinkie broke down the roster, will have to have some more patience, because Hinkie isn’t ready for his team to be good – or even mediocre – yet.
The Sixers might not have been dramatically better with Noel and two Lottery picks who could actually participate in a game this fall. The rest of their roster is still thin on both talent and experience. But Hinkie is clearly looking well beyond next season. And he hopes to have increased his team’s chances of getting dramatically better down the line.
Hinkie, clearly not worried about job security, is looking to take advantage of GMs that are. And it will be a while before we find out just how successful he was in doing so.
If the injuries don’t turn into a nightmare, Embiid could be the next Dream. Remember, Hakeem Olajuwon was raw when he hit the NBA. He was more polished than Embiid, a volleyball player just 3 years ago, but Olajuwon might have been a better soccer goalie than power forward when he began his career with the Rockets.
Kansas coach Bill Self, who attended last night’s draft with Wiggins, believes the Sixers got great value with the pick. Self said Embiid could be an All-Star “six or eight times.”